2010 MAS DES FLAUZIERES, GIGONDAS
Ruby red with a delicate peppery nose, which precedes a big full and plump wine, gorgeously thick, with an amazing fruit laden finish which is long, and enjoyable right now.
Le Mas de Flauzičres is a farm which belonged to the Entrechaux castle in the Middle Ages. It is an old barn located at the foot of the Mont Ventoux 'The giant of Provence', near Vaison la Romaine. The Benoit family has owned it since the end of the nineteenth century.
Jerome Benoit studied oenologie and travelled the globe making wine before eventually returning to France and taking control of the family property. He started making wines in 2002 under the “Vigneron Independent” label which is (in general) a very good reference for great, small and rather unknown producers crafting natural and Terroir oriented value wines. The vineyard uses Terra Vitis methods to minimise the environmental impact of their winemaking and the wines produced from the vineyard are cultivated according to specific rules and methods verified by an independent organization.
The village of Gigondas, in the Rhone River valley, is in the Dentelles de Montmirail Mountains. The village traces its roots back to the Romans. Its original name was Jocunditas meaning great pleasure in Latin as the town was founded as a place of respite for the Roman Legion. There is no doubt that wine has been produced there since Roman times. In due course the vineyards outside of the town were ceded to the Church. Later the vineyards became a part of the Principality of Orange and eventually the area was annexed by Louis XIV.
In the early 1950’s the area was granted Cotes du Rhone Villages status by the Appellation d’Originie Controlče (AOC). In 1971 Gigondas was given its own AOC designation. AOC rules dictate that the vineyards must be a mixture of the same grapes from which Cotes du Rhone are made. The soil in Gigondas is mostly limestone and clay. Many of the vineyards are dug out on steep terraces cut into the mountain sides. Some vineyards are as high as 600 meters.
So the next time you feel like buying a Chateauneuf du Pape, don’t be afraid to look 20 miles to the northeast and try a Gigondas.
When pairing food with a Gigondas, opt for dishes as robust and rustic as the wine. Beef stroganoff, stews or even spare ribs would work well, also goes well with hard cheeses.